Is There Sand in Your Swimming Pool? Here’s How You Can Get it Out!

If you encounter sand floating inside your swimming pool or settled at the pool's bottom, you might be worried. Of course, the reason for sand being in your pool may be completely harmless. Maybe the sand came to your pool with you after you came back from a trip to the beach. However, there may be other reasons as well, which would call for your attention so you can get the sand out and get your pool back to its best.

In this article, we’ll list all the possible reasons why sand may be inside your pool, along with what you can do to get it out. So, without any further delay, let’s get to the bottom of the sand issue and figure out some solutions!

Sand or something else: Diagnosing the problem

If you haven’t been to the beach but still see sand in your pool, it can mean either of the two following things:

  • A broken sand filter: Sand filters are prone to breaking and cracking, and if your sand filter is broken and/or cracked, it might be leaking sand into your pool. Parts of a sand filter that can break and/or crack due to wear and tear include the standpipe and the laterals. You’ll find more information on repairing a broken sand filter as you read on.
  • Mustard algae: A type of algae, known as mustard algae, tends to look almost exactly like sand when it’s settled underwater. So, the sand you see in your pool may not actually be sand – it may be mustard algae. Again, we’ll tell you later in this article how you can deal with this problem.

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Repairing a broken sand filter

Before we get to tell you how you can fix your broken sand filter (if that is the root of the problem), it’s important to tell you more about the parts that are prone to breaking and cracking:

  • The standpipe: The standpipe is a part that’s located right at the centre of the filter. Even though strong and rigid plastics are used to build sand filter standpipes, they may eventually break or crack due to wear and tear. If your sand filter’s standpipe has cracked, sand will make its way into your pool.
  • The laterals: The laterals are parts that are attached to the standpipe’s bottoms. Every sand filter has a set of 8 – 10 laterals. These parts function as sieves, i.e. they help to keep sand out of the pool water. They feature perforations that facilitate the passing of water without allowing sand to pass through. The laterals, similar to the standpipe, may crack as well, which will enlarge the perforations and allow sand to go past them.

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Fixing the sand filter:

Imagine a situation where both the filter’s standpipe and laterals are cracked. In this situation, you would have to first repair the sand filter and then remove the sand. Here are the steps you need to follow to get your sand filter fixed:

Step 1 – Order new laterals and standpipe: A sand filter’s components may break without warning, which is why it’s important to have replacements on hand. Order new laterals and standpipe based on the make and model number of your sand filter.

Step 2 – Remove the existing sand inside the filter: The second step involves removing the existing sand inside the sand filter. This will allow you to replace the parts easily.

Step 3 – Replace the broken parts: The third step is about determining the parts of the sand filter that are broken and replacing them. If your sand filter is old, you should replace both the standpipe and the laterals, even if one of the parts is broken.

Step 4 – Add sand: Now that you’ve replaced the broken parts, it’s time to get your sand filter up and running again. To do this, replenish the sand that you removed earlier and your sand filter should be running as good as new.

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Steps to remove sand from the pool

Congratulations! You’ve successfully repaired your sand filter. Now, it’s time to remove sand from your pool. To do this, follow these steps:

Step 1 – Push the sand to some concentrated areas: To do this, we recommend using a pool brush. With it, push the sand to some concentrated areas of the pool. If the sand content is minimal, you should try pushing them to a solitary area.

Step 2 – Change your pool filter settings: In the second step, you should set your sand filter’s multiport valve to the ‘filter’ setting. This will allow the sand to be vacuumed back into the sand filter.

Step 3 – Perform manual vacuuming: Take your pool vacuum and manually vacuum your pool thoroughly.

Step 4 – Test the pool water: After you’ve finished vacuuming, take a test strip and check the pool water chemistry. Add chemicals and achieve the right balance.

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What if the problem is mustard algae?

As mentioned before, if you don’t have a sand filter but still see something sandy in the pool, it might be mustard algae. To confirm this, take your pool brush and push the ‘sand’ around. If it’s mustard algae, it will disperse into a cloud. In such a scenario, you should buy a pool shock solution.

There are several pool shock options you can pick from. We recommend choosing either dichlor or calcium hypochlorite. If the pool shock solution you’ve purchased comes in granular form, dissolve it in a 5-gallon bucket and then pour it into your pool. Most pool shock products take approximately 7 – 8 hours to eliminate microorganisms. During this period, it’s important that you don’t enter the pool.


So, the next time you see something sandy inside your pool, we hope you’ll know what to do. To ensure that it doesn’t happen, we recommend maintaining both your pool and its equipment regularly (at least once a week). After all, a swimming pool with either sand or algae doesn’t make for a very safe swimming experience – you wouldn’t want that for yourself or for your family, right?

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